Going Up? Take the stairs: Expired elevator permits

Out of the 12 elevators on the Citrus College campus, only eight are running properly and are up to date with Department of Industrial Relation standards.

Most of the permits are required to be updated annually in the month of March.

Those who rely on wheelchairs or are impaired to walk are directly affected.

Approximately 1,400 Citrus College students are enrolled in the DSP&S program. This includes those who rely wheelchairs, canes, arm and leg braces, crutches or struggle with anxiety.

“Roughly 25 students completely rely on our elevators to be properly working,” Emmy Madris, DSP&S secretary, said. “We’ve had quite a few students stuck in elevators. And those that suffer from anxiety are primarily affected.”

Madris said for these students, it’s a challenge.

“Any barrier just makes it that much harder,” Madris said. “DSPS is definitely on their side in getting this to code and we will do anything to support that.”

Nursing major Heather Taylor said this is a major problem that should not be taken lightly.

“As a student with physical limitations due to chronic health issues, not having elevator access is a major problem when taking the stairs isn’t always an option for me,” Taylor said.

Most of the general education course buildings are much larger to accommodate for the large volume of students that Citrus College admits.

This includes the liberal arts, math, educational development and student service buildings that offer many of the required courses to complete general education.

The higher stories of these buildings must be wheelchair accessible to follow CCR Title 8 §3001 (c) code/regulation.

The Visual Arts, the Visual Technology and the shared elevator between the Technical Engineering and the Professional Center elevators all have expired permits from 2016.

The Hayden Library has a 15-year outstanding permit from Sept. 11, 2003.

“No elevator shall be operated without a valid, current permit issued by the division,” The CADIR website states.

These four elevators are still active and functional for the student body.

Permits are issued yearly after the annual inspection has been successfully completed. The inspections allow a safety engineer certified by the department to review the activity and maintenance of the elevator to ensure that all safety orders are met and complied with.

“We have them serviced every year for fire alarms and go through the same company annually, Performance Elevators,” Steve Siegel, school maintenance technician, said.

Siegel said he believes the permits are up to date, however he is unsure as to why the certifications are not being posted.

“Maybe the issue is that we stopped posting for vandalism issues,” Siegel said. “But I know we have them.”

Siegel said the library elevator broke down a couple years ago “and we had to fix and maintain that.”

Vanessa Valin, communications major, voiced concern over the possibility of having expired permits on elevators on campus.

“That’s pretty dangerous considering that the people who need the elevators most are the people who have been incapacitated in some way or another,” Valin said. “If something serious happened, those people would be most endangered.”

Speech professor and Chairman for the Facility Committee on Faculty Senate, John Fincher, said he is unaware of any expirations, but planned to bring it to attention during the physical resource committee meeting in October.

“I should start doing a better job at observing my surroundings and knowing what I’m getting myself into,” Valin said. “It never really occurred to me to consider that some places just aren’t on top of making sure everything is up to date and completely safe.”